Some protest Ole Miss changes, saying they ignore history

OXFORD, Miss. — Confederate Drive has been part of the University of Mississippi for as long as anyone can remember.

But Chancellor Dan Jones plans to re-name it “Chapel Drive” as part of a campaign to erase some controversial aspects of the school’s past.

That has sparked protest from history buffs like Debbie Sidle, who claim Jones wants to re-write history, “If you change history, then you make your children ashamed of their history which they shouldn’t be. What do you expect them to grow up to be?”

That’s why she and about 40 others, marched in Oxford from the east end of town to the Ole Miss campus carrying Confederate flags.

University of Mississippi Public Relations Director Dan Blanton told us the changes need to be made, ”We need to take a leadership role in the discussion on diversity and inclusion and racial reconciliation. We’ve made a commitment to doing that.”

The University even hired a “Chancellor for Diversity” to oversee that.

Another controversial change involves how the University refers to itself.

Leaders want to use the name Ole Miss for athletics and the University of Mississippi for academics.

Blanton said these changes don’t change the school as a whole, ”I can make it categorically clear that Ole Miss will always be who we are.”

University officials believe the changes will bring in more students from more diverse backgrounds.

Protestors say Ole Miss history, however distasteful, is in the eye of the beholder and shouldn’t get painted over.

”When you re-write history, the way they’re re-writing history, all you have left is nothing. Ole miss will be a generic school, just like every other generic school,” said Sidle, who told us she and others will keep protesting to get their message out.

29 comments

  • J.M.Snyder

    Dan Jones needs to leave, He has caused nothing but hate and distention since he has been at Ole Miss. Covering up history does not change it, it only makes people distrust those who have tried to erase it.

    • omgstopitalready

      Nothing is really changing at all besides the name of a street. These people need to get lost and go cry about something else. It’s pathetic.

      • J.M.Snyder

        Spoken like someone who didn’t go to college or have no alliance to anything but themselves, or went to Ms State!

      • Glenn Green

        Thank God there are still good Americans out there fighting the PC purge of American history.
        Old Miss has an incredible and unique history like no other University.
        The University Greys (or Grays) were Company A of the 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiment in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. Part of the Army of Northern Virginia, the Greys served in many of the most famous and bloody battles of the war.

        The rifle company joined the 11th Infantry at its inception on May 4, 1861 after Mississippi seceded from the Union. Their name “University Greys” derived from the gray color of the men’s uniforms and from the fact that almost all of the Greys were students at the University of Mississippi. Nearly the entire student body (135 men) enlisted; only four students reported for classes in fall 1861, so few that the university closed temporarily.

        The most famous engagement of the University Greys was at Pickett’s Charge during the Battle of Gettysburg, when the Confederates made a desperate frontal assault on the Union entrenchments atop Cemetery Ridge. The Greys penetrated further into the Union position than any other unit, but at the terrible cost of sustaining 100% casualties—every soldier was either killed or wounded. These young boys stepped up to the line as commanded by General Lee in July 1863. They were literally a band of brothers who looked across that open field at thousands of loaded muskets and cannon and they all knew in their heart this was their death. They stepped out in front to their death because they could not let down their fellow Southerners, their State, their God and their School. How horrible that Old Miss and Oxford have chosen to abandon these dead heroes that can not now defend themselves.

        What an incredible disservice and desecration of the memory of Mississippi’s greatest heroes, to purge all references to the Old South so misinformed people can feel more comfortable. Those students that went off to fight when their country called were the greatest of any, ever to attend Old Miss = And far far better than the liberal puke faculty and staff that are pushing for changes because they have a anti Southern racist attitude. These young students gave their life and limb in a titanic struggle of good against evil = the question would be forever settled “would the people of the South be in control of their own government or would the Government forever be in complete control of the people. =WELL WE GOT THE ANSWEAR = THE GOVERNMENT IS IN COMPLETE CONTROL OF EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE = THERE IS NO TRUE LIBERTY = YOU ARE ALLOWED NONE OF YOUR BASIC RIGHTS AS SUPPOSEDLY GURANTEED IN THE CONSTITUTION . When the South Lost the War for Independence = all of America Lost = the precedent has been set for all time =The President of the US is not bound by the Constitution despite his oath , He or She can do what ever they want including attacking and killing hundreds of thousands of Americans with zero repercussions.

        Apparently one cannot express your freedom of Assembly, Speech and Religion without a permit in Oxford = which is a direct violation of the “Bill Of Rights” of the Constitution.
        I am also shocked and dismayed that the Mayor of Oxford thinks a childrens fair is more important than fighting for our most basic Constitutional Rights .
        It is certainly hoped that this is only the beginning and the citizens of Mississippi rise up in mass and put an end to the reign of these corrupt and evil politicians in the city of Oxford and at the University.

  • langor1

    Tradition is a great thing about college, but education is way more important. Ole Miss either needs to move forward or become a private university, they really can’t continue to dredge up images of the old south and the civil war and be a university for all Mississippi citizens.

  • everyoneisanexpert

    confederate [n.]
    a person, group, nation, or state united with another or others
    for a common purpose; ally; associate

  • MovingForward

    You can’t change the past. It is better have face the past or we will continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. That’s why we learn about history, and you just have to move forward. What is changing the name going to do for anyone or anything, but hide the past.

  • Fed Up

    Well they done away with Col. Reb. The funny thing is most folks don’t know that Col. Reb was imaged after Blind Jim Ivy. How many folks even know that history? I talking with a student that was all about doing away with Col Reb and he had no idea who Jim Ivy was. I say educate don’t discrimanite. Black folks view it as hate/ white folks as history. If its history I have no problems with it but for those who view it as hate, those are the racists. They need a reality check.

    • lawman

      If the tied had turned and it was your family members hung from trees and forced into slavery is this something you would be proud of. Ole Miss has had in the last two years racial issues on campus and in the media. This is 2014. There is no pure race anymore this generation doesn’t see color this is why there are many inertial kids and a relationships. I am of mixed race and love all races and one is not better than the other. People need to let go and let GOD.

      • Becky Muska

        My g.g.great-grandfather was hung from a tree over Big Spring in Waynesville, MO in August 1863 by Federal troops from Wisconsin. He was a civilian, the caretaker of the poor farm and ran a boarding house. He was taken by force from his home, accused of being responsible for one of his boarders (a Federal soldier from the same Wisconsin unit) being killed by Confederate soldiers, and strung up over the spring. His wife and other women of Waynesville had to row out in a boat to cut down his lifeless body. The officer in charge of the Wisconsin troops should have stopped his men from waging war against civilians, but he did not. Federal troops did this all over the South to civilian men, women, children, infants, their livestock, their family pets from 1861 through Reconstruction….and the North is proud of this. The tide was turned against the South from the very beginning of Lincoln’s War of Aggression because Lincoln knew the South had the Constitution on its side for legally seceding and the politician in him could not stand to allow that to happen during his presidency. Lincoln said his white race was vastly superior to the black race and he had no God in his life. And the tide came back in to shore and took Lincoln out with a bullet to the head. If he had lived to finish out his term, every black man, woman, and child would have been shipped to a colony in Liberia or South America under the Lincoln plan which was greatly endorsed by New Englanders. Great president? Someone to be proud of? Someone to build monuments to? I think not!

  • 2013me

    I love Ole Miss!!! That school was so helpful and everyone was wonderful!! I recommend that school to anyone looking for a college!!!! Leave things as they are we can’t change the past but we can do something about the future. P.S. This comes from a black Ole Miss Grad!!!!!

  • Robert

    There was wrong on both sides of the war but the South is the only one that ever seems to get any of the blame. Slavery was a world problem not just a South problem. There were blacks that owned slaves and blacks that fought for the South. There were whites in the North that had slaves throughout the war. The North waged war on civilians and burned churches, courthouses and anything else they wanted to. People of every race should thank God they are in this country now no matter how their people got here because there is still slavery in some parts of the world. As far as Ole Miss goes those students and teacher back in those days left school to fight an invading force in there homeland and they paid the price. They are veterans and deserve respect for answering the call of their country. People in modern times have no right to judge the actions of the people who were in the heat of it all. They did the best they could for what was dealt them. I have 27 Confederate ancestors and a lot of them died fighting in the war. None of them owned slaves so if you call me racist for being proud of them then yes I have a problem with that.

    • lawman

      When you die all that matters is how you lived your life here on earth. Not what your ancestors did. The bible says let the dead bury the dead. Me making mortar’s of the dead won’t bring them back no will it show favor with God. All this energy used to preserve history makes me wonder have we all forgotten who made the ultimate sacrifice for our transgressions. He deserves all the praise. Not man. Let go and let God.

  • Jim Williams

    When college administrators such as a president or chancellor wishes to pass something that is popular, they pass the proposal and bask in the glory of their decision. However, when they wish to pass something that is not popular, they appoint and staff a committee to make recommendations. In this case the committee is called the “Committee on Sensitivity and Respect.” You can guess who is serving on that committee. Therefore when he announces the name change of the road from Confederate Drive to Chapel Drive, he can claim that he was just following committee recommendations. It appears that diversity is ballyhooed as a good thing as long as it does not include any reminder of the Old South, and that is what I find hypocritical.

    • Becky Muska

      Exactly, Jim, good point! The Mphs. city council, after illegally changing the park names, “created” a committee called the park renaming recommendation committee. It was designed to take the heat off of the the two council members, Lee Harris & Myron Lowery, who jumped right in with park name changes for Forrest, Confederate, & Jefferson Davis parks immediately after Mphs. CAO George Little ordered the granite marker removed under the cover of darkness…just part of their plan. I was invited to serve on that committee because I’m an 8th generation Shelby Countian. At the first meeting I looked around the table at the nine members sitting there & three of us knew we were outnumbered by six. The six other members thought that the three park defender members would willingly go along with their park name changes, then the city council could say they were “just following the recommendations of the park renaming committee”, but we did not & we were on the record as opposing any changes & we three only agreed to restoring the original historic Confederate names. Don’t believe for a second that institutions like Ole Miss aren’t watching these other heritage violations & taking notes. That’s why Citizens To Save Our Parks had to file a lawsuit & unfortunately, this may be the only means by which the Jones Agenda will be stopped as well.

  • ValeriaT

    Just because some things in history are not “pretty” or “Politically Correct” by today’s standards, does NOT mean we should try to cover them up by changing street names, taking down flags, etc. Concealing history will lead to forgetting it. If we forget the past, how can we learn from it? Those who cannot learn from history are condemned to repeat it. Is that what we want for our future descendants??

  • Elaine Stenzel

    be progressive,stop hanging on to the past,you lost the war admit it.If you want to secede ,do it already and stop talking about it,but remember once you do that you can never come back….

  • Clint

    Dan Jones is certainly a poor excuse of chancellor of Ole Miss. He does not stand up for the learning institution that he is suppose to represent. He like a lot of the uninformed and misinformed try to make the Southern soldiers look like a bunch of raciest. It’s easier for Dan Jones to surrender to the the politically correct than for him to have the courage and the integrity to stand up for what is right. Our Southern Forefathers were men who did have COURAGE, and INTEGRITY and they answered their CALL TO DUTY to Defend the Southland (including the very ground where Ole Miss stands) against a large, destructive Federal army that was Hell-bent on the South’s destruction. The Southern Army gave America a LEGACY OF HEROES that is Unsurpassed in American History.

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